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Preview: Sabres at Capitals

Backup Philipp Grubauer will start in goal for Washington; Buffalo shuffles lines

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

SABRES (7-8-5) at CAPITALS (12-5-2)

5 p.m. ET; CSN-DC, MSG-B, NHL.TV

 

Sabres team scope

Goalie Robin Lehner is expected to start for the Buffalo Sabres. He made 23 saves in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday. The Sabres did not have a morning skate. Coach Dan Bylsma shuffled his lines at practice Thursday, promoting Marcus Foligno to the top line with Kyle Okposo and Ryan O'Reilly. Evander Kane and Brian Gionta were centered by Johan Larsson, and Sam Reinhart skated with William Carrier and Matt Moulson. Buffalo is 4-3-3 in its past 10 games against the Capitals.

 

Capitals team scope

Philipp Grubauer will start against the Sabres in the first of a back-to-back, with Braden Holtby expected to play at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. This is Grubauer's fifth start of the season; he is 2-1-1 with a 2.00 goals-against and .925 save percentage. It's the finale of Washington's five-game homestand; the Capitals have won three of the first four games, including a 4-3 victory against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.

 

Sabres projected lineup

Marcus Foligno -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Kyle Okposo

William Carrier -- Sam Reinhart -- Matt Moulson

Evander Kane -- Johan Larsson -- Brian Gionta

Derek Grant -- Cal O'Reilly -- Zemgus Girgensons

Josh Gorges -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe -- Cody Franson

Justin Falk -- Taylor Fedun

Robin Lehner

Anders Nilsson

Scratched: Cole Schneider

Injured: Jack Eichel (high ankle sprain)

 

Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Andre Burakovsky

Marcus Johansson -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Justin Williams

Zach Sanford -- Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson

Daniel Winnik -- Lars Eller - Brett Connolly

Karl Alzner -- Matt Niskanen

Dmitry Orlov -- John Carlson

Brooks Orpik -- Taylor Chorney

Philipp Grubauer

Braden Holtby

Scratched: Nate Schmidt

Injured: T.J. Oshie (upper body)

 

Status report

Eichel practiced Thursday, but Bylsma said he will stay in Buffalo and skate on his own before returning to practice Sunday. Eichel was injured on Oct. 12 and has yet to play this season. … Oshie participated in the morning skate, but there's no target date for his return. Coach Barry Trotz said Oshie is "still week-to-week, but he's making progress." Chorney is replacing Nate Schmidt, who will be a healthy scratch.

 

Who's hot

Ovechkin has four goals in two games, including a hat trick against the Blues. He has 26 goals and 41 points in 39 career games against the Sabres. … Moulson leads the Sabres with seven goals in 20 games; he had eight all last season.

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